Unsurprisingly the recent statement by the Government in response to the Court of Appeal’s ruling on the transitional arrangements for firefighters and judges on their 2015 pensions (colloquially known as the ‘McCloud Judgement’) has caused a flurry of requests to the Forces Pension Society.
Whilst the Government has confirmed that it will remedy any difference in treatment across all public sector pension schemes (including the Armed Forces Pension Schemes) there are a significant number of strands of work and processes that must be undertaken before there is clarity what the remedy will look like for the entire public sector.
We are engaged with the Ministry of Defence at the appropriate policy levels as they begin their work, but the time-frame for delivering any remedy is almost certainly going to be measured in years. Furthermore, whatever remedy the MOD puts in place cannot get ahead of any remedy put in place for the judges and firefighters – which remains a matter for the courts.
Given this time-frame and the absence of any current underpinning assumptions, it would be inappropriate for our small pension advisory team to be drawn away from more immediate and pressing advisory duties to deal with ‘potential’ outcomes for individual members who might be affected under any McCloud remedy. Furthermore, it would be extremely rash of us to try, since at this stage any potential outcomes would be based entirely on guesswork and supposition.
Our priorities must therefore remain:
- Engaging with the MOD to understand, inform and influence their work on determining potential remedies.
- Providing technical pension advice to our members who are leaving the Armed Forces imminently on current pension arrangements.
- Providing wider technical pension advice to members, serving and retired.
We will let members know when this changes – in the meantime, please keep an eye on our newsletter and website for updates on the work.